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Tips for ensuring your blog is an eyecatching web presence

 

Many freelancers treat blogging the same way they would any other aspect of their social media platform: a way of conveying subject matter important to them, instantly and relatively informally. True, a blog post should be a concise form of communication, although there is scope to elaborate on the brevity of Facebook or Twitter posts. But it can be so much more effective. In fact, if your blog reads well and looks great, it can be a key asset to your freelancing strategy. Here are some of the reasons why blogging can be such an effective tool.

 

Perfecting your skills

It doesn’t really matter what type of freelancing you specialise in, whether you are using platforms such as TopOffers or you are going down the route of self-promotion, there are certain aspects which are universal. Blogging teaches you to be economical with your content. You are never constrained in terms of word limits as you would be with, say, Twitter with its rigid character-count; but you still have to keep in mind the average attention span of potential clients casually flitting between websites.

 

The golden rule is maximum information in a minimal space. Get your ideas across as concisely as possible. Punchy titles and sub-titles are all-important, as people who have alighted on your blog need to be hooked before they are tempted to click elsewhere. After your leading headlines the subsequent text must follow a logical path. Edit out superfluous language – you’re writing a few paragraphs of snappy web content not poetry, so think carefully before overloading with flowery descriptions or adverbs.

 

Designing a great blog

Aesthetically, your blog must follow the same cardinal rules as any standalone web page – it must be easy on the eye. If you have a lot of points to get across, break these into logical sub-paragraphs. Better still, partition your text into bulleted lists, numbered or otherwise. Think of your blog as the visual equivalent of a party political broadcast or a business conference speech – obviously not in terms of actual content, but by rendering what it is you are trying to get across more palatable, in the same way politicians introduce slogans, catchphrases, or attention-grabbing banner headlines. In blogging terms, this simply equates to emotive titles and catchy sub-headings that demand attention.

 

Tools of the trade

There are many different tools available to you when it comes to achieving an effective, well-designed blog. A common one is to introduce a block quote. This has the effect of taking one aspect of your content and giving it a much greater degree of emphasis. Quotation marks inject an air of authority.

When it comes to the pros and cons of presenting printed material, where the web defeats hard copy hands-down is in the way you can invite your readers to zip around your content rather than reading everything in a conventional top-to-bottom way. Seed your paragraphs with hyperlinked words that will open into whole new text blocks. In this way you are inviting your reader to embark on a journey, savouring whatever it is you have to say to them. What’s more, they can do so at their own discretion, deciding what’s most important to them. Introducing bookmark facilities allows even greater degrees of flexibility and interactivity.

Font-wise, stick to clear, functional and legible typefaces like Arial or Times New Roman (or any of the many lookalikes.) Adopt tried-and-tested templates. The rest is up to you!

Bogdan

Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.

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